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tv   Mc Laughlin Group  CBS  September 26, 2010 11:30am-12:00pm EDT

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for over two decades. the sharpest minds, best sources, hardest talk. the mclaughlin group is brought to you by seaman's. seaman's answers america's toughest questions in industry and healthcare. issue one, obama shakeout. ♪ [ music ] >> president obama is shaking out his sam. number one economic adviser, larry summers is leaving his post a little more than a year and a half. dr. summers is the director of mr. obama's national economic council. summers was the chief architect of the financial global crisis that is still hurting the u.s. and last year's $787 billion
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stimulous program was largely summer's idea and he defended it. >> i think the stimulous had a significant impact. tens and thousands of teachers and cops across the country. $53billion delivered to american families. 3,000 projects underway that the calculations suggest that its impact is only going to increase. that we are also seeing 200,000 mortgages have been relieved. it's going to be 500,000 by november 1. i think we are on the right track. >> dr. summers is the third high profile member of president obama's economic team to quit before the end of the president's first two years in office. budget director, peter orszag was the first to leave in july. christina roma was next. the white house is also expecting rahm emanuel to leave the use to run for
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mayor of chicago. >> if rahm emanuel leaves, he will be the fourth of president obama's closest advisers to have left since july. question, after 20 months, is this presidential staff turnover normal? pat buchanan. >> this is not terribly unusual if you have a presidency in trouble. john, when you came into the white house, '71, john connolly came in, dave kennedy was out. nixon closed the goal window, let the dollar flow. he sent arthur burns to the federal reserve. they gunned the money supply to $23 billion deficits. that was enormously dramatic in terms of a change. this is nothing like that. rahm is going out there because there's an opening for mayor's office and secondly, because he has been hammered and had a bad time. but i don't think this is extraordinarily unusual. i don't see any signs of panic here. >> a vietnam war on his hands. >> nixon, our election was disappointing and he took that
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big move. john connolly was lyndon johnson's man that had taken texas away from him. that is a big, big -- >> how long did connolly serve? >> two years until he became the chairman -- >> this isn't even two years. >> he served for two years and became chairman for democrats for nixon. >> it's not unusual at the mid way point to have a changing of the top personalities. what is a little unusual here is that they are announcing it before the midterm so that the exit after the midterms won't look tied to the disaster if a disaster unfolds. nobody is going to miss larry summers. he was a part of the culture that created the crisis that we had and i don't think that he ever had much credibility, certainly with the left of the party and with ordinary people and the prescriptions that he put in place basically rescued wall street and the banks, but didn't do much for average folk. >> is that the culture you are talking about?
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>> and timmothy geithner who remains the thin read that we are all leaning on, i think at one point said we saved the economy, but we lost the american people. and he is right about that. >> michelle, welcome. >> thank you. good to be back. >> what do you think of this question? >> i don't think it's unusual at all. larry summers allegedly is leaving because he doesn't want to give up his tenure at harvard. he will serve through the end of the year. we are getting closer to the midpoint of the president's first term in office and this is what you see happen. people leave and quite frankly, the president needs people like larry summers to leave. he has been terribly unpopular as eleanor said. the american public, whether we are talking about small businesses, big business, the middle class, or people who live in underserved communities are very, very unhappy with the state of the economy. many people blame that on larry summers. many people believe it on the president being tone deaf. this is a time if you are going to clean house, do it now and
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do it before disaster strikes in november. >> you think unemployment was around 6%, these people would be leaving? in other words, do we have an economy that would justify them staying from that point of view? >> larry summers advocated a much larger stimulous package than the $800 billion. he advocated a trillion, as did christina romer. that was not larry summers fault. larry summers is brilliant, and unfair to look at what happened to that stimulous program, which was politicized to such an extraordinary degree by the congress and by the white house. that's why that program was not nearly as effective as it should have been. as far as rahm emanuel, there is going to be an opportunity that nobody expected, which is that mayor daly would be the mayor obligation, of course. >> summers just got back from a trip to beijing and he saw
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bau over there and he tried to get him to monitor his money the proper way, instead of what he is doing with it. and that didn't work. do you think there's any connection between that failure to get one -- in fact the president himself met with him. do you want to talk about that? >> the main issue here as far as we are concerned, the united states economy is concerned is that the yen is kept at an artificially low level. >> what does that do to us? >> what that means is their exports are more competitive and our exports are less competitive in china. what that means to us is that we have fewer jobs. we have nufactured at home. that's not the only reason, by the way, we why are having trouble. >> there's a business over to china to produce. that's a big return on their
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money. >> that's not the only reason. the other reason is that the chinese -- look, just to pick one example. we were the first company to manufacture computers. there are million and a half of them who work in asia. we lost the ability -- just a minute. that has nothing to do with the yen. >> i want to know the conversation that took place about the president, which was written up in friday's "new york times" very well and i notice he got it. and put it on the front page. >> obama is saying -- >> he is saying look, you have to let your currency float and rise up in value because you are sucking our industry, our jobs, our technology out. we are running a trade deficit with you. the biggest in the world. if you don't do it, the congress in the united states is going to put tariffs on chinese goods. >> what do you think of that action? >> this should have been done
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twenty years ago. >> we can take some action against you that you aren't going to like. >> wait a minute. the last thing you want to have is a trade war. the last thing you want -- >> you take that action and you invite a response back. but to get back to the beginning of topic about the next treasury secretary, is this an opportunity for the president. this is not only somebody, not treasury secretary, it's adviser. we still have geithner. it's an opportunity also to send the signal to the world about attitudes about international economics. it's not just about putting people back to work. so summers fairly or unfairly is seen as a symbol of policies that didn't go far enough and aren't working. so who you put in place sends signals not only to this nation, but to the world. >> leaning heavily -- >> the united states appears as if any day now we are going to become a holy owned subsidiary of china. this is very important. the president has to think very closely about how, what china
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does with its dollar, affects our economy. in conjunction with all of the economic advisers who have left the white house. he has to get good people in there and turn this economy around on an international level. >> do you think they have a long way to go before they are a threat to the united states? they affect some of our manufacturing jobs. their income at $6,000. >> wait a minute. earlier on this program, i read a piece from the front page of the financial times about jeffrey. jeffrey said flat out, he thought that china did not want anyone else to succeed. do you remember that? >> yes, i remember that very well. i'm not sure that is the case. the chinese are very focused on their own economic well being, which is understandable. >> that depends on their competition with the other. if the other does not succeed, they go up. >> that is correct. >> the economic nationalist. everything they do is for china. they hold the value of their
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currency down because it sucks jobs and plants into china. >> we are agreed to summers job is an important job, is it not? he's head of the national economic advisers to the president. who is going to take his place? >> i tell you, i hope it is some guy with real world experience and not simply academic experience. >> you think jeffrey will take his place? >> i don't think so. but someone like him will be the right person. >> the names they are floating are ceo types and laura tyson who was in the clinton white house. >> free trader. perfect. >> spoke to the predatory practices of china. why don't they put him in there? >> who knows. >> they might offer it to him and he may not want the job. i don't know -- i have absolutely -- >> he couldn't handle the higher pay. [ laughter ] >> let me say one thing. one of the signals they have to send is not to china, but to the american business community. i think it would be useful if they found an american
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businessman who had a great sense. bob ruben was a perfect example of someone who could bring policy. i don't know if he would do it. he has his own problems in terms of serving. >> would you take the job? >> i would have to check the salary. >> i'm serious. that's a serious job and it would be a very interesting job. >> think about it on your flight home tonight in your own plane. i think summers would be -- i think -- what am i trying to say? i think jeffrey would be great. when we come back, the independent vote. how critical is the independent voting block this year and in 40 days from now? who vo:geico, committed to providing service to its auto insurance customers for over 70 years. more information on auto insurance at or 1-800-947-auto any time of the day or night.
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somewhere in america, there's a doctor who can peer into the future. there's a nurse who can access in an instant every patient's past. and because the whole hospital's working together, there's a family who can breathe easy, right now. somewhere in america, we've already answered some of the nation's toughest healthcare questions. and the over 60,000 people of siemens are ready to do it again. siemens. answers. the forecast is full of ifs. retirement these days, if i'm too exposed to downturns. if i'll go through my savings too fast. to help you feel more confident consider putting a portion of your savings in a metlife variable annuity. when the market goes up, it gives your assets a potential to grow. while protecting you if the market goes down with a steady stream of income. metlife annuities have helped over a million people stay on course with guarantees for the if in life. get answers about annuities at
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2009 was the year of being angry. 20101 the year of voters at the polls. so i think we are going to see a lot of independents mobilized. we have seen a lot of them through the tea party, through other sources get out and get active. >> almost two out of five voters today say that they are neither democrat nor republican. they are independent. this is no small number. it could shake up the midterm elections. just five weeks away. 52% of independents voted for obama in the 2008 election. now they appear to be changing their tune. the respected pollster conducted a poll of independent voters which found that independents are now tilting towards the gop. 50% republican, 25% democrat.
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the same poll says that 48% of independen48% of independent voters view the tea party positively. the wall street journal and los angeles times and political among others reported on the poll, which was under written by the independent women's voice, a sister organization of the independent women's forum. >> did i get that right, michelle? >> you got that right. the voice is the sister organization to the forum. and you are ahead of the t -- c we have independents? let me tell you why. i will tell you what our poll told us. 1,000 likely voters have told us that whether you look at democrats or republicans, this is the beauty contest and all of the contestants are ugly. they don't like democrats. they don't like republicans. and for that reason, people are unaffiliated. they are leaning republicans. >> let me finish. >> they are leaning republicans despite they don't
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like republicans. >> 60/40? >> they are leaning republicans because they feel the democratic party -- it is over 50%. >> every independent, former republican or former democrat. scott brown one because all those former democrats were sick of their party and our guys are winning because they are sick of the democratic party. they were sick of the republicans in 2008. this rise of the independence is a vote against both national parties. >> absolutely. >> both of which failed the country in that they can't balance our budget, win or wars or secure our borders. >> the biggest block of voters in the country and obama won then in 2008 and now they are leaning republican. >> why have they turned against obama? >> because they are mostly angry at the party in power, but they don't like the republicans. so the challenge for obama and democrats is to make this -- they don't like bailout.
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they would like bailout if it were for them. >> the stimulous package? >> no, they don't want any of the government programs. >> they don't like the stimulous package. they are against all of it. >> they are against the healthcare program that was passed by incredible numbers. they are basically -- >> why? >> because they think it's going to raise the cost of healthcare. >> it abliges you to haindivid >> libertarians are against that. >> the position is that what independents are telling us is that they want to make their own decisions. they don't want government making decisions for them. >> healthcare. >> the question on whether the insurance companies make your decisions on many of the benefits have gone into effect this week. you can't get kicked off of your healthcare plan. >> anything about deficit
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spending and the impact of that and particularly on your voting strength. >> because i'm recalling all the time you made that an issue when george w. bush was in power. i don't remember it coming up, john. >> every other weekend, didn't i? >> 0 to 10, meaning no likelihood whatsoever. 10 meaning physical certitude. what is the likelihood that the democrats will win back the majority of independents? favoring republicans by election day. >> minus 473 degrees, which is absolute zero. they aren't going to get back the independents. it's ridiculous. >> i don't think we'll get back the majority. we live in a political climate. i'm going to give them a 3. >> zero. it's not happening. at least not by november. >> really? >> zero. >> certainly not happening by november. if anything, it's going to get worse between now and the election. will say one. ruel of a figure.
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issue three, pentagon featherbedding. >> we spend too much on national defense. nearly $700 billion. that's what secretary of defense, robert gates believes and says. he wants to slash $100 billion from the defense budget over five years. the current defense budget is almost 1/5 of the total u.s. budget and the total u.s. budget is $3.5 trillion. >> the culture of endless money that has taken hold must be replaced by a culture of savings and restraint. >> secretary gates is practicing what he preaches. he said that last year the department made more than 30 tough choices. canceling or curtailing major weapon system that were performing poorly or in excess to real world needs. about $330 billion worth. besides hardware heavy, the pentagon is also personnel
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heavy. what gates calls grass creep. generals and admirals, nearly 1,000 of them. deputy assistance secretaries of defense, 530. in 1960, there were 78. as for musicians in the military, there are more u.s. military ban members than our 6,000 foreign service offices. chairman of the joint chief of staff concurs with secretary gates on cutbacks. >> one of the things that secretary gates is addressing and i think rightfully so is the whole issue of what he calls brass creed. i think that is something we need to look at, not just on the military side. there's vilian part of the creep which occurred as well. >> question, why are mullen and gates singing the praises of frugality? i ask you mort. >> yes, i was on the defense administration board. we looked at the management
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board. >> under ru feld? >> the politics are difficult because every base, extra base, we make our own glasses. >> you mean the states phi in? >> the congressman and senator. you can't afford it. there are extra military equipment that we don't need that is forced upon us by the states where they manufacture it. >> so congress is clawing at the budget of pentagon. >> absolutely. >> john, you know where you get the money? >> you have 701 ,000 foreign bases. american troops are going to start coming home from korea and northern europe and quite frankly because we can't afford it and the other cost is these two wars we've got going. and eventually, this whole thing has come down. >> the iraq war is winding down. secondly, afghanistan has a terminal date on it. this flows into a patent with no time to do it. >> i think they ought to do
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it. >> the money that fuels the empire is not coming down. secretary gates has taken some bold stands here, trying to chip away at the gold plated military culture and some of these weapon systems that have -- are very expensive and have no relation to modern warfare, but dwight eisenhower that had credibility than the defense secretary. eisenhower couldn't tame the military in the mclaughlin group is
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somewhere in america, there's a doctor who can peer into the future. there's a nurse who can access in an instant every patient's past. and because the whole hospital's working together, there's a family who can breathe easy, right now. somewhere in america, we've already answered some of the nation's toughest healthcare questions. and the over 60,000 people of siemens are ready to do it again. siemens. answers. its auto insurance customers for over 70 years.e to more information on auto insurance at or 1-800-947-auto any time of the day or night.
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